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37 April 1st, 2017 Happy 54th Anniversary To General Hospital!

Courtesy/GH Facebook

Those doctors, nurses, mobsters, and Port Charles stalwarts are having an anniversary!  Today, April 1st marks the 54th anniversary of ABC daytime’s long-running series, General Hospital.

GH created by Frank and Doris Hursley premiered back on April 1, 1963 and now the soap has logged 13,775 episodes in 54 years!

In a post on their social media accounts, the series shared with their fans: “Today might be April Fools Day, but we aren’t joking when we say it’s been our pleasure to spend the last 54 years with you. 13,775 episodes later and #GH is stronger than ever. ”

Pictured in an on set photo to mark the milestone are GH executive producer, Frank Valentini surrounded by cast including: Chad Duell, Finola Hughes, Kelly Monaco, Roger Howarth, Maura West, Rebecca Herbst, Billy Miller and Chloe Lanier.  In addition, some very important behind the scenes VIP’s are pictured.

Last month, General Hospital picked up 23 Daytime Emmy nominations and won last year’s prize for the Outstanding Daytime Drama Series.  Will they make it a two-peat?

On-Air On-Soaps would like to congratulate everyone in the General Hospital family for keeping Port Charles alive and well in the hearts and minds of its enduring fans.  Now, share your congrats to GH on turning 54 years young today in the comment section below!

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  1. Margie Dalton says:

    We need to repeat Best Soap Ever GH been here since day one. Watched with my Papa just to see John (Dr.Hardy ) baseball star on Daytime
    CONGRATULATIONS 54 let’s keep it going!!

    Reply

    Theresa replied

    I’ve been watching for 50 years and I love every minute of it.

    Reply

    Patricio replied

    Dr Hardy! Jessie! Audrey!Diana Taylor!

    Reply

  2. su0000 says:

    Thank you Ron Carlivati for saving GH when it was days from cancellation. You were GH’s last hope it’s lifeline.
    You brought GH back to life so it would continue on for years to come..

    Hoping GH will make it to 60 years and beyond!

    Reply

    Patricio replied

    I agree SuSu!

    Mr. C brought GH back from certain death! He made OLTL the best soap ever.

    Reply

  3. Kimberly Stamness says:

    Congrats GH! I have been watching for over 40 yrs. I will be watching as long as you are on. Love you guys!

    Reply

  4. aria says:

    Love my GH, so glad its still on, but hey mike, if you don’t mind me calling you mike? I see Rebecca Herbts pictured above, but no Maura West, just to let you know. Back to GH, happy 54th anniversary, and to many more.

    Reply

  5. Akmom says:

    You missed Rebecca Herbst who is holding the cake with Kelly.

    Reply

  6. rose says:

    Thought I would comment on what I have been liking lately on GH. Start with the budding, but alas probably short lived friendship of Tracy and Laura since Tracy will be leaving GH. Am looking forward to their great “adventure” to Turkey. Oh well, better late than never. But would like to see more of this bff, fun stories in the future. Maybe Monica and Laura once in a while? And matching Laura with Kevin was great.

    Fun to she Hillary/Nora visit Port Charles as a high powered lawyer. Hope she gets to say a while. Her scenes with Diane reminded me of Alexis’s early days with Diane before they became good friends.

    Anna’s stories have been interesting lately from the now finished (for now) Olivia Jerome story to her new reveal with Valentin. There always was some mystery about Anna and the wsb. And who would have ever thought she would call on Dr. O to find out info from Faison. Loved seeing them play off each other.

    Also liking how they have found a way to have Valentin a little more human. Such as his conversation with Jason about the scarecrow in Jake’s drawing. Even though I didn’t like his behavior at the Cassadine Island, a part of me doesn’t think he really killed Nik and there’s more to this story to come when writers figure out what they want to do with the Nikolas character. And you can never have too many Cassadines.

    I just can’t warm up to Franco and Liz though. Just my personal thing. I still liked him better with Nina. Who is still so insecure. Can say I blame her much after what she’s been through. Would rather see more of her doing her Crimson magazine thing…here she’s projected a new found sense of confidence.

    Is Michael going to grow into his ELQ corporate hat. It’s about time. And I’m sure he will find a way to forgive Nelle. Look what’s he’s forgiven with Sonny over the years.

    And good for Ned and Olivia. Fun but very dangerous robbery at the Floating Rib, but don’t ever, ever try to emulate Olivia. But, wow, what you have to do to get Olivia to say” I do!”

    And I do like that they have finally got Curtis and Jordan together…maybe.

    If I have any suggestion it would be to find a way to bring a couple, or even just one, strong male character to GH who is not a criminal.

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    I think the show has been great…but I do miss, when I think about it, all our GH characters. So many are gone…Nic, Lucky, Emily, Lila, Alan, Aj, now Tracy…Alice!…Luke…basically the majority of the “originals” are gone. Sad…

    Too bad they just throw Lucy in every now and then. Should give her a story.

    I’m not sure what or how they’re going to handle Ned and Olivia. Ned has always been one of my favorite characters but is now reduced to the occasional visit. Olivia used to be very present and now she, too, is barely on. So, I hope they’re not riding these two off into the sunset. Would rather see the Q’s rebuilt…have Ned stay…move Olivia and son into the house, have Michael live there…have Jason become more involved…remember how close Michaela and Jason were? They’re never even in a scene together!

    I love the show for what it is…but it’s not what it was. Sigh….

    Reply

    Patricio replied

    Hello Rosie!

    What a great well informed post! Girl ! You know your soap ! I think I agree with 100% of your observations

    Reply

  7. Steve says:

    Congrats on 54, an anniversary that looked in doubt 5 years ago. Frank’s a wizard with the budget, but was that really all the cast they could round up for this photo?

    Reply

  8. Amanda Amelia says:

    Congratulations to General Hospital on your longest running soap. You are truly the best. Also, I must add that you have the most dynamic and handsome couples on the soap, especially my favorites, Curtis and Jordan (Curdan). I’m glad that they’ve finally called a truce. I’d love to see more crime solving between them and Jason and Sam (JaSam). Again Congrats and keep up the good work.

    Reply

  9. Esmerelda says:

    Happy 54 year General hospital and can’t wait to see what you guys will bring next Monday and how everyone will be with each other and hope that everyone is with the right person

    Reply

  10. Rosemarie Nilan says:

    Congratulations to all involved in making GH episodes great to watch. I’ve been a fan since 8 yrs old watching this show daily with my grandmother. I’m 56 yrs old today and still record and watch the show every evening. All the characters on the show are great to watch. I wish the show much success and I wish everyone well. God Bles❤️

    Reply

    Patricio replied

    Hello Rosemarie I was born in 1961 and will be 56 soon. GENERAL HOSPITAL has also been part of my life since I can remember! I too enjoyed it with my mother. She let me stay home for Luke + Laura’s wedding! DVD s and SOAPNET allowed me to follow as I grew up and had a career. I still go to pick up the phone to call my mom about goings on in Port Charles, until I remember my beautiful mother has passed a few years ago. She literally watched the show from her hospital bed the day she died. Inside her pocketbook was the latest copy of ABC SOAPS in depth. Tell me soaps don’t serve a higher purpose. …

    God bless you Rosie- may we enjoy GH for many years to come.

    Reply

  11. rebecca1 says:

    I’m incredibly happy that GH is still with us…and hope it is for many years to come. But that pic, LOL, really annoys me! For a celebration of such media magnitude centering on an iconic soap, you would think that the scene would include the legendary actors who have been the center of GH. Where’s (and I’m going to use the character instead of the actors names here for convenience) Tracy, Monica, Felicia, Scott, Mac, Kevin, Lucy, Bobby, Sonny, Robin, Laura, Lulu…these characters are still on the show (though not enough) and yet they weren’t, “eating cake” or the photographer took a pic after the these GH icons had left the building….I get the feeling the man on the right stood apart as if to say…”yeah, yeah…people are going to ask who I am and where is Laura!” ;)

    Reply

    Kevin replied

    I figured the party included only the actors present on stage to record that day. Not a major milestone to make a big deal over, but at least they had a cake. Cheers & here’s to many more, GH!

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    You mean for the actors/crew to not make a big deal over? Well, it kinda is…especially in today’s soap climate Fifty-four is a long TV time…I think the “survivors” should have all been in the pic. :)

  12. Pat says:

    Long-time die hard fans must only still be watching out of habit. Sadly, this once-iconic show has become such a dumpster fire over the last few years. It’s so evident that those two washed-up female head writers are phoning it in with lame storylines. Plus, the pacing is awful and they’ve created the most sexist male dominated show on TV. It’s very disturbing material. GH has great actors, but they can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s— you know what.

    The key demographics for these soaps are awful. Younger generations of females are not watching these shows anywhere close to the way they did 20, 30, 35 years ago. Yes, there’s much more media competition now than ever, but the writers need to get with the times already, and if they cannot, then bring in some new, young blood that actually has fresh ideas. Stop recycling the same old burned-out hack writers who failed at other shows! It’s ridiculous. (Ron Carlivati to Days?! What a joke. That will sadly be the final nail in the coffin for that show, I predict.)

    Also, quite frankly (and it’s hard for me to say this because I don’t mean at all to insult the shows and older fans) but I truly think that to many younger females today (Millenials, Gen. Z) there’s now a stigma attached to daytime soaps as a genre- that they’re not trendy programs, and the scheduling model is antiquated and daunting, IMO. Not that I fully agree, but I think that’s the feeling out there. Honestly, whatever is done, I just don’t think you’ll ever see sharp upticks in younger demos for these shows again.

    Reply

    Susan replied

    Sad to say but I think there’s some truth to what you mention. And this is coming from someone who watched/followed GH religiously when I was in high school and college in the early ’80s during the show’s L&L heyday, and am still a fan today.

    I’ve taught college and graduate history courses for seven years, and in happening to overhear students talk with each other about TV shows they watch, even programs during the daytime hours, I’ve never once heard a conversation about GH or another soap opera. There was one time when I made a few pop culture references to GH during a lecture, and the large majority of the students gave me weird looks and the rest shrugged their shoulders, as if I was speaking a foreign language. That spoke volumes to me about how old these shows seem to be skewing nowadays.

    Reply

    Patricio replied

    That’s sad. When I was in college we were scheduling classes around our soaps!

    God bless and teach those kids what the soaps were about in American pop culture1

    rebecca1 replied

    Soaps have always had a stigma. No one ever proudly declared they were watching soaps…well…not once they got past college. I work in publishing and I was shocked to find out that including myself, there were a number of editors who watched a soap or two! I realized, that though I watched…I didn’t think anyone else did other than my stereotypical impression of who viewed these shows.

    Of course they’re not going to compete with any shows on prime time…that’s why they’re on daytime! LOL…So many of us watch PBS, or shows on cable…you can’t compare Downton Abby or Game of Thrones…The now defunct but once-so-trendy Vampire Diaries…etc, etc.

    Daytime is not going to abandon its older fans. It’s a continuing saga that lives because of its viewers who grew up with them. I doubt they’ll ever attract a new, really young demographic. People don’t come home from school to watch TV with their parents, grandparents, etc. They’re out. They’re on their laptops, cell phones, whatever…

    Nothing will bring the ol’ soaps back. I think we…and that includes anyone of any age who have been watching for a while…should see them for what they are. A genre. One that is hanging by a thread. Still love em!

    Reply

  13. Stefanie Locke says:

    Watched since Luke met Laura ,when the opening credits had the ambulance with the hospital behind.BEST SOAP EVER.

    Reply

    nancy dillingham replied

    I remember the first story of Angie with the horribly burned face–vividly.

    Reply

  14. Lew S. says:

    Congrats GH!

    Reply

  15. Charday says:

    I started watching more of GH the last month or so (but I still tend to FF through certain characters). Mildly enjoying the show again for the first time in over a year.

    Reply

  16. Suz tm says:

    Watched since 1972 when I was 9 years old because my baby sitter watched. I remember nurse Lucile and the medicine room where they had all sort of conversations. Really became invested when a young Genie Francis started. I was memorized by her. Loved her with Scott and then Luke. I have watched off and on since Genie left. Began watching again when I caught an episode with her paired with Kevin. Love them together. I mainly watch for the vets, Laura, Kevin, Scotty, Bobbie, Tracy, Ned , Lucy (in small doses). I do enjoy watching Ava, Liz and miss Nick and Lucky. Have
    never really cared for Sonny, Alexis or Sam. I will continue to watch unless the show is again taken over by Sonny and Co as it was last fall with the whole Morgan’s death story.

    Reply

    Iakovos replied

    Are we twins? We are same age and I recall the introduction of Laura. Loved the story of Lesley taking the fall for Laura’s self-defense killing of David Hamilton. I loved the show then and was happy to keep riding the Luke & Laura bandwagon, although years of silly sci-fi spy shenanigans grew tiresome. As do the last 20-25 years of mobster story lines. Still, there have been some very strong actors, characters, and moving stories to keep me engaged, even though not as much as I once was. I would like to see GH embrace its history. Let me see more of the old guard. AS THE WORLD TURNS was so good about that. That said, Happy 54th GH! I turn 54 in August. :-)

    Reply

    Suz tm replied

    Funny! I just turned 53. I well remember the David Hamilton story! I loved Leslie and wish they would bring her back! I watched for years. I remember Laura reuniting with Luke on the Mayors lawn . My college roommates and I all screaming! I watched on and off until Luke and Laura returned full time with a young Lucky. I was pregnant the same time Laura /Genie was with Lulu. I continued to watch until Laura went catatonic, and then again watched off and on hoping and praying for a Laura/Genie return. Began watching again Last August when I Caught Laura paired with Kevin. I just can’t handle the show centered around d Sonny. Wish they would center the show around another central couple, focus on the vets and add some humor!

    dmr replied

    I agree with what you said about “Sonny and Co.” and Morgan’s death. I was never a fan of Morgan, so his death was not very impactful for me, as a viewer. I thought the character was a petulant, spoiled, narcissist, and the way that his family spoke of him afterwards just made me roll my eyes. I was happy to see the actor and the character leave the canvas. I wish TPTB would focus on real issues, as they did/have with Alexis’ alcoholism, not chasing after missing pills, figurines, paintings, etc.

    Reply

  17. Reed says:

    At least there was cake…although I’ll be damned if there’s any mention of GH’s 54th anniversary on the ABC website–they’re still living off of the golden anniversary. Nice! Sounds about right for a medium that has been left for dead. Are the networks invested at all in the futures of these programs or have our beloved shows been reduced to placeholders on a television schedule–timeslots that could just as easily be filled by the next inane talk show of the moment?

    As fans, let’s continue doing our part by supporting our shows, talking them up, and finding ways to return former viewers to the fold, or entice new ones from the binge watching generation. It’s never been easier to watch, the DVR is a wonderful thing (I’m 30+ episodes behind on GH, so I’m still enjoying their 53rd year), as is the internet, which allows us to view on any number of devices. It’s such a great medium with a tremendously loyal following. We have publications, websites, message boards, and events devoted to our shows, and where else in sports or entertainment will you find the talent to be so accessible to their fans? And kudos to the talent for doing more than the networks to ensure the continued survival of these shows! Do not leave it up to the corporate suits to preserve the wonderful tradition of daytime dramas, only the audience can do that. Keep up the great work MF et al, ensuring our medium stays relevant and entertains us all well into the future!

    Reply

    Shay replied

    @Reed….It’s funny you mention that GH’s 50th Anniversary is still being touted on the ABC website, since I was just thinking that the last time the show was honestly worth celebrating was at that juncture. I had just been drawn back into regularly viewing the world of Port Charles with that festively momentous occasion, and it was absolutely thrilling seeing those old, familiar characters like Frisco, Noah, Scorpio, etc. visiting throughout that aptly-named “golden”year…Alas, since then, that awesome “thrill” has gradually faded into being well and truly gone for me…too many unsatisfying newbie characters and lame, convoluted, and even incomplete, storylines have tried and failed to grab even this onetime diehard fan who knew and loved GH in its “glory days.” It’s not that I don’t wish a “Happy 54th” to the show…I do, but I would really love to see more emphasis on acknowledging and honoring the rich history and legacy families that made this particular soap so spectacular.

    Reply

    Reed replied

    Shay, the ebb and flow of daytime…to be a fan, you have to be diehard–either that or you have to have no life. We are a loyal bunch, and that means hanging in during the clunkers (Paul as a serial killer, what?) and characters that don’t resonate. I hope you’ll continue to find the time for your favorite show, as I do, taking the good with the bad. It’s neither a sprint, nor a marathon, but 13,775+ shows and counting! Lots of air to fill and not all of it breathable!

    Shay replied

    @Reed….At 13,775 episodes down and counting, you have a much more distinguished GH viewing record than do I…..My own particular fandom began with the highly-popular “Luke and Laura” era, and unfortunately, waned to a certain degree during the ’90′s “Sonny C.” domination, which controversially remains in a somewhat similar fashion to this day. So, I fully fess up to the fact I’ve not watched this show on a non-stop basis like you have, however, I’ve always kept apprised of its happenings, would tune in when the vicissitudes of Port Charles’ life piqued my interests anew, and of course, wished the soap a continued healthy existence, whether in my absence or presence…..and I still do!!!! I was simply waxing nostalgic about the 50th anniversary year of GH and all those fabulous moments we witnessed…they were ever so special…and honestly made the occasion seem as if one had gone home again!!!! It was a genuinely heartfelt celebration!!! Sadly, my current emotion compares more to feeling like being a stranger in one’s own town! That’s the point I was striving to explain! A “clunker” of a character here or there is completely understandable, but too many at once really pushes the level of tolerance for any viewer, especially those of the longtime variety who I should think would be more easily disenchanted with the oft-newfangled aspects of Port Charles present! Oh, by the way, I do hear you on Paul….I actually loved Richard Burgi’s GH stint, and considered it a huge mistake to turn his charming character into such a slimy son-of-a-gun that it all but guaranteed his unwelcome departure…As one of those truly rare actors who has “leading man” written all over him, every effort should have been made to retain him—and Paul!—far into the show’s future.

    Reply

    Reed replied

    Shay, you give me too much credit…or not enough, I do have a life, so I can’t claim to have seen them all, but I’ve navigated the VCR and DVR ages to keep up. Keep hanging in or checking in whenever you can because this genre is on life support. Being the last of a dying breed should motivate everyone involved with the production of these shows to put the best product out there, lest they want to be around for their demise. The achievement of 54 years and counting is stunning, so let’s hope the stewards of these shows agree how special and unique it is to be a part of something that has been such a constant in so many lives. The state of daytime is not akin to Amazon laying waste to the retail model (RIP Sears), it’s more a dearth of creativity. The audience is out there, generations of us, the brand is in place and is iconic–polish it up and reinvigorate it, these are franchises to be managed, not endangered species that we look to preserve. We can only hope for such passion in the corporate suites of the network executives because the viewers have it en masse!

  18. Rodd says:

    Congratulations to everyone at GH! I love watching this show and hope it continues for many more years to come!

    Reply

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